Custom Search 1

A Snapshot of Brixton: Harry Jacobs and the Empire Windrush

ACCLAIMED: Harry Jacobs photography

HARRY JACOBS moved from Stepney to South London after the War, and he initially had a jewellery business in Granville Arcade before switching to photography in the 1950s.

He worked the streets around Brixton Market taking portrait photographs of families in their homes before moving to a studio in Landor Road, Stockwell in the early 1960s.

He became one of the most established photographers for the local black community and his studio was something of a community landmark.

This exhibition, created from the thousands of photographs salvaged from the studio after Jacobs retired in 1999, provides a visual record of the 'Windrush Generation' of families who moved into Brixton.

Sitting alongside Jacobs' portrait photographs, a parallel exhibition documents some of the realities of the Brixton of the 1950s that confronted these new families on their arrival: the shared rooms in run-down houses off Coldharbour Lane, the racist attitudes of some of the host community, the gap between what they had been led to expect back in the Caribbean and the reality of South London, and the challenges of getting on in an initially strange new world.


Free Exhibition at Lambeth Town Hall, 1 Brixton Hill, London SW2 1RW
Open Friday 23rd May - Friday 6th July: Monday - Friday 09.00 - 20.00


Jon Newman

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.